Ultimate Consignment closes abruptly, leaving questionsPosted: Updated:
Darren Spannaus is a collector, but here's the key. Everything he collects he sells for a profit. He recently gave 3 On Your Side a brief tour of his home where he showed us racks of clothes and boxes of shoes.
"Every box has two pairs of shoes, so there are probably 1,500 pairs of shoes there," he told us as he pointed into one of his rooms.
And it's not just clothes that he resells. He also has sports and music memorabilia.
"This is what I have here," as he points to dozens of old albums. "I have around 600 signed records on stock and I have them all filed alphabetical."
Most of the items he collects he resells on the Internet. And, as far as business, he says it's great.
"I've had an eBay business basically for 15 years," he said. "My wife retired from the medical field and she's been doing it full time since."
To help move and sell some of the used items, Spannaus turned to a consignment store called Ultimate Consignment.
Ultimate Consignment, according to a video we found on YouTube, is a 70,000-square-foot warehouse with thousands of items to resell. There's one store located in Phoenix and another one located in Mesa.
In the video, you'll see items stacked from the floor and all the way up to the ceiling. Spannaus says it was the perfect place to show off and sell his stuff. And, sell he did.
"We actually sold with Ultimate Consignment for a while and got monthly checks from them up until before they disappeared," Spannaus said.
Unfortunately, Ultimate Consignment simply closed up and disappeared with thousands of items, including $2,000 worth of items that Spannaus said he left to consign.
But, how could such a large store quietly shut down as quickly as it did? The answer to that might be found in that promotional YouTube video.
It starts off with a guy who claims to be the owner and founder of Ultimate Consignment.
"My name is Brian Lesk and I am the owner of Ultimate Consignment," the video clip says. "It's the largest consignment organization," Lesk proudly tells the camera.
3 On Your Side can't seem to locate Lesk. However, his name can be found in court records. There are a number of court documents with Lesk's name and the name Ultimate Consignment and they're all connected to either liens or judgments totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Owing that kind of money might explain why Lesk and the consignment business he bragged about so much disappeared.
Spannaus says he's disappointed and says he knows he's out money for the items he left to consign. But, he also knows there are other people like him who lost a whole lot more.
"We did see other dealers in there that had hundreds of African artifacts," he said. "I'd probably just guess around $50,000 to maybe $250,000 worth of stuff."
The exact reason why the store closed so abruptly and where all the items inside went remains a mystery. However, a letter left on Ultimate Consignment's door says the items are now the property of a "third-party liquidator" called MCA Financial Group. The letter say MCA Financial Group was appointed by Superior Court, but it was rather vague in explaining what dealers like Spannaus should do next.
3 On Your Side intends on investigating the matter further and we plan on airing an update soon.